What is this course?
What are we made of and how can we make the best of it?
In this course, taught by Dr. Mira Neshama Niculescu, we will study and reflect on a classic text, to cultivate our own resources for addressing these questions.
Maimonides' Eight Chapters (Shmoneh Prakim) offer us profound wisdom about understanding our character traits, and most importantly, working towards their fixing, so we can learn to live healthy, peaceful and happy lives.
To the 12th century Sephardic Sage, who wrote the Eight Chapters as an introduction to the Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot), the secret lies in cultivating the “middle way” in our body-minds.
In this 8-session course, one session per chapter, we will learn to apply Maimonides’ teachings, so we can integrate their transformative power into our lives.
Each class lasts an hour and comprises first, a reading and discussion of selections from the weekly chapter, and second, integrating it into our lives through practical application of the meditative technique of self-inquiry (hitbonenut), which includes silent reflection and journaling.
Over the length of the course, you will begin a deeply transformative process, and learn to take the practice with you in order to cultivate balance and well-being in your daily life.
How does it work and when does it happen?
Maimonides' Middle Way is an 8-class journey.
The classes are recorded (audio and video) and participants can watch or listen to the recordings of the classes at any time they like.
Each class includes:
1) A recorded video class exploring a chapter of Maimonides' Eight Chapters (Shmoneh Prakim), in which we will read and discuss selections from the chapter, and then utilize the meditative technique of self-inquiry (hitbonenut), which includes silent reflection and journaling, to apply its wisdom to our lives. Each class is 1 hour long and participants are invited to watch or listen to the recordings at their own convenience.
2) Handouts of the relevant parts of each chapter in Hebrew and English.
3) An ongoing online conversation about the sources and the practices. Via WhatsApp or email, you can ask anything you like, share whatever thoughts and ideas are arising for you, and receive feedback from Mira and, if you choose, from other participants as well.
"Having recently completed the Maimonide's Middle Way course, I felt Mira's deep subject knowledge, together with her experience as a meditation teacher wove together seamlessly to make the content relevant and accessible. Mira has a very patient, non-judgemental and encouraging teaching style and I look forward to joining her on another course in the future!"
- Stephen Low, participant in the Maimonides' Middle Way course.
"I first met Mira on an Or HaLev retreat and was immediately drawn to both her teachings and her presence. Mira has this uncanny ability to get right to the heart of the truth of what this mindfulness practice is all about - because she lives it and it shines from within her. I'm now working with Mira in one-on-one sessions. I always leave feeling somehow lighter, more seen, and a little stronger to continue along my path, grateful for this special teacher in my life."
- Ariel, Student on Jewish Mindfulness retreats and for Spiritual Counseling
"Mira seems to be able to open a door to my soul that I didn't even know was closed. I always leave feeling higher and lighter, deeper, and more grounded"
- Arlene, Jewish Meditation student at Pardes classes and Or HaLev retreats
"As a teacher; Mira draws on a rich knowledge of Jewish texts and brings learners together into lively, pertinent interpretations of their meaning. As a guide to meditation and Jewish spirituality, she is energetic yet calm, modest yet forthcoming. She has a profoundly reassuring and stimulating presence that leads groups to deep experiences of meditation and reflection."
- Hannah, Jewish Meditation Student and Coordinator of the Paris Jewish Meditation Group.